Brett and Mary Beth Cooper aren’t alarmed by the sounds of plastic cups hitting against as they go up in pyramids and come down into stacks or the occasional cup tumbling to the floor.
They’re the sounds of champions.
Their children – Jackson, Peyton and Brenna – compete in cup-stacking tournaments and usually can be found practicing at their kitchen table.
The children recently competed in the World Sport Stacking Association U.S. National Sport Stacking Championships in Maryland. Each placed in several categories.
They will compete this weekend on Team USA in the World Sport Stacking Championships in Orlando, Fla.
Jackson was introduced to the sport in third grade by his P.E. teacher at Belvedere Elementary School.
“I like that you can do it by yourself and set your own goals and records,” said the 12-year-old.
“Jackson like challenges and is very goal-oriented,” said Brett Cooper. “This really fits in well with his personality.”
Once Jackson began competing, Peyton began to take notice.
“I saw my brother do it and was like, ‘Hey, that’s kind of cool’,” he said.
Brenna then followed in her brothers’ footsteps.
Jackson and Peyton practice about two to four hours a day, and Brenna practices about 30 minutes a day.
Jackson and Peyton often devise games to compete against each other, and they also provide their little sister with tips and encouragement.
Since competing, they have found their own styles.
For instance, Jackson likes to go very fast.
“The challenge is keeping it clean,” he said.
Peyton tends to go slower, said his mother.
“His style is more like slow and steady wins the race,” she said.
Brenna has adopted a mixture of her brothers’ styles.
The competitions are fun but they also teach the children great values, said Brett Cooper.
“As a parent, you want them to learn the value of hard work, preparation, setting goals, the spirit of competition, and winning and losing gracefully,” he said. “The competitions give them an opportunity to learn those values.”